Salem's Lot

Stephen King

Character Analysis

Ben is the main character. He is tall, black-haired, and lanky. He is kind of popular and a well known writer, and he is used to giving out his autograph to his fans. He lives with his Aunt Cindy in 'Salem's Lot for four years as a child after his father dies and his mother has a nervous breakdown. While he is in 'Salem's Lot, a group of boys talks him into going into the Marsten House as part of his initiation into their group. When he goes in the house, he encounters the ghost of Hubert Marsten, and this memory haunts him for many years.


In the book, the theme is belief. Belief protects certain characters. It leads others to their demise. For the most part, the characters that believe in the vampires and the undead are the ones who survive the longest.

In 1975, a vampire comes to the small town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine. He changes some of the people to vampires, and they turn others into vampires, until nearly the whole town is undead. Two people eventually kill the head vampire and flee, leaving a town full of vampires behind.

The Marsten House sits on top of a hill. From the Marsten House, one has a view of what happens in town. The Marsten House was once occupied by Hubert and Birdie Marsten. Hubert kills birdie and then himself in 1939, and the mailman finds Hubert and Birdie dead in the house. From that time until around the beginning of the story in, nobody lives in the house.

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Something strange is going on in Jerusalem's Lot ... but no one dares to talk about it. By day, Salem's Lot is a typical modest New England town, but when the sun goes down, evil roams the earth. The evil sweet insistent laughter of a child can be heard echoing through the fields, and the presence of silent looming spirits can be felt lurking right outside your window. Stephen King brings his gruesome imagination to life in this tale of spine tingling horror.